If you’re new to hammock camping, one thing you could be concerned about is where to place your backpack when hammock camping. Camping in a hammock opens a new world of freedom and adventure, but not without concerns, especially in the area of backpack storage.
Unlike tent camping, your backpack and entire gear can’t go into a tent with you. This thought can be worrisome, especially as you need to protect your gear from snakes, rodents, spiders and even rain.
In the following paragraphs, we will look into where and how to put your backpack when hammock camping.
The right place to store your backpack is dependent on several factors, including weather conditions, the size of your backpack, how often you need to access its content, and other environmental concerns
Overall, there is no right or wrong way to secure your backpack. It comes down to your unique preferences and circumstances. However, let’s explore some options.
How Do Your Hammock Size and Design Influence Where You Store Your Backpack?
Hanging your backpack on your hammock is a great way to keep your pack above the ground, away from insects, and close to you.
Your hammock size and design can influence how you store your backpack. For instance, when you hang up your hammock and tie it to a tree, you can hang your backpack on the line or the continuous loop if its cord is strong enough to hold.
You can use a carabiner to hang your backpack to your hammock suspension. If you hang your backpack in the middle of the ridge line, it would most likely be uncomfortable for you.
So, the best thing to do is to slide the pack away from the middle, but not so far away that you cannot reach it. The backpack should be hanging close to you so that you can slide the bag towards you when you need to get something, and away from you when you’re done.
To protect your backpack from rain when using this method, simply wear a rain cover over the backpack and watch it hang safely from the wet ground and also dry after the rainfall.
Hammock Features to Consider for Storing Your Backpack
Some hammocks come with mesh gear pockets on the underside for storage. But it does not provide room for storing a backpack.
However, if you are a light packer and your backpack compresses easily, then you can empty your backpack and place all the items you need in these gear pockets.
Then compress your backpack and place it into the pockets. If you consider this option, then you also want to choose a pretty large hammock, so that your stuff does not make you uncomfortable in your hammock.
That said, you can also store a few items in those mesh gear pockets without having to empty your backpack completely. This is a great choice when you want to store your backpack away from you (e.g., secured on a tree)
Still, if you are camping in a swampy area or woody area, you want to keep your backpack away from the water.
Storing Your Backpack Securely Using a Gear Hammock
A gear hammock (also called a storage hammock) is a small hammock you hang next to your hammock for storing your belongings.
These hammocks are very light. Your gear hammock also makes it easier to store loose items like your clothes, shoes, and even your backpack. You will love having them, especially when you have a lot of stuff with you.
A gear hammock is an excellent solution no matter the weather or environment.
If you don’t have the resources to use a gear hammock, then there are other options to choose from, including placing your backpack on the ground near you and hanging your backpack on a tree.
Can You Place Your Backpack on The Ground When Hammock Camping?
To store your backpack on the ground, lay plastic sheeting on the ground and place your pack on it. The plastic sheeting helps to keep it free from dirt, debris and water in the surroundings.
It should also be placed directly in front of your hammock for easy reach. This method of securing your backpack is one of the most traditional methods and pretty straightforward.
But you need to understand the terrain as it would influence the placement of your bag. You may also need a dry bag to cover your backpack as well.
However, this method has a lot of downsides. First, it is not always ideal at night as you can’t monitor what happens to your backpack. There’s always a problem of having a lot of reptiles, insects, and crawling things use your backpack as their resting point.
Also, weather conditions could affect that storage position negatively. For instance, if it rains heavily or snows, your tarp or sheet on the floor might get so soaked that it reaches your backpack. Moving water could also carry it away.
Recommended Ways to Hang Backpack During Hammock Camping
1. Hanging Your Backpack Directly on A Tree
You can hook your backpack directly to a tree using a strap at a nice height, this helps your backpack stay free.
You should also never use a bare rope to tie your backpack or hammock to the tree. Bare ropes cause potential damage to tree bark.
But a good suspension system would help you set up quickly and protect the tree bark.
When it rains, you can use a waterproof pack (rain jacket) cover to wrap your backpack.
Your waterproof pack cover is also an excellent way to keep your pack covered at night when it is hanging against a tree.
If you don’t have a waterproof pack cover, then two large plastic garbage bags would do the trick. After securing it to the tree, put the pack in one and pull the other over the top of the pack.
The wind is also another weather condition you should consider when storing your backpack using a tree. In this case, you should use a strap to secure the upper part of your bag.
2. Using a gear organizer (gear sling) to store your backpack
If you like your stuff super organized and within reach, then you can run a gear line for storing your belongings. It allows you to lay up everything such as your boots, lanterns and more carabiners perfectly for easy reach.
In this case, you can attach your gear storage device directly to the tree to keep your stuff off the ground.
Some gear storage straps come with hook lines for hooking your backpack and other bags you came with. Others offer extra pockets alongside hocks for your backpack.
How Does the Weather Affect Where You Place Your Backpack When Hammock Camping?
When hammock camping in cold rainy weather, you need to store your backpack where it won’t get wet.
You may store your backpack on the ground underneath your hammock if it is large enough. But you still need a waterproof cover to protect it from water splashes.
That said, storing on the ground is still not the best setup, because there’s a risk the terrain might become flooded. Hanging from a tree or using a carabiner and tree strap is a better solution.
Also, when hammock camping in cold weather, always choose your spot carefully. You should select two healthy, strong and alive trees. These trees should not have ice, snow, fruit, and weight-downed or dead branches.
The spot should also have a wind barrier such as a dense forest area or large bounder. It should also be higher or on the same plane as the rest of the land. When you camp in areas lower than the rest of the site, cold air tends to sink and pool at night.
Does Your Backpack Size Influence Where You Put Your Backpack When Hammock Camping?
Yes. Your backpack size can sometimes affect where you put your backpack when hammock camping. This depends on where you plan to store your backpack.
For instance, if you’re hanging on a tree, no matter how large your backpack is, and no matter how many days or weeks you packed for, a tree will be able to hold the weight of your bag. It is the same with the floor.
However, if you plan to hang your backpack on your hammock line, the size of your pack becomes relevant because if it is too heavy, your backpack can weigh down your hammock.
That said, you should always select the lightest backpack that accommodates your gear and would fit you. You should also work with as few things as possible so that your backpack is not too heavy and difficult to store.
So, whether you are hammock camping for a day or several weeks, you need to seek a storage method that suits the size of your backpack.
Should You Use the Same Storage Methods for Your Backpack During The Day And Night?
During the day, you will have your eyes on your bag most of the time. In contrast, at night, you may have no idea what happens to your backpack. Hence, some storage methods that work well during the day are not ideal for the longer duration of the night.
Night-time storage must also be consistent and fortified. This means it should be strong enough to handle the weight of your backpack for a long time. It should also be secured enough to protect your stuff from critters and weather conditions.
For instance, during the day, you can afford to walk over to a tree and hang or remove your backpack.
But at night, it would be a bother to have to walk a distance to get something from your backpack. So, having it hung to your hammock or right under is the best bet.
Important Tips to Protect Your Gear and Backpack When Hammock Camping
1. Store all food and scented toiletries separate from the rest of your backpack
Storing separating from your backpack will help avoid inviting animals and insects into your hammock or near your sensitive stuff.
2. Always use a dry bag or waterproof cover over your backpack
Dry bags fit over your backpack and offer extra protection against all-weather elements. The ideal dry bag should fit snugly over your pack and cover entirely. Some also come with extra pockets for storing your stuff securely.
3. Use an appropriate spray
Always apply a bug spray to your skin, backpack and everything else. The bug spray will keep spiders, ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes from having their way with you and your belongings. You should also re-apply your bug spray diligently, especially at night.
4. Keep your sensitive items with you
People and theft can be the biggest concerns when considering where to hang your backpack. Some camping backpacks come with compartments and anti-theft pockets for storing sensitive items. But using them is only ideal when your backpack is on you.
At night, the best advice is to keep those precious items such as your ID and cash on your person at all times.
Figuring the best position to store your backpack when hammock camping depends on several factors.
Whether you choose to keep your backpack on the ground, under your hammock or hang your bag on a tree, always consider your unique circumstances.
That said, using a gear hammock and a gear organizer sling are the best ways to store your backpack securely. They will keep your backpack off the ground and protected from the weather conditions.